Persian Cats Breed History, Characteristics and Behavior

Persian Cats are one of the oldest cat breeds ever known. History of the Persian cat itself has not much known with certainty. In general, these cats are believed coming from Persia (now Iran) and Turkey.

It is believed that Pietro Della Valle (1586 – 1652) brought Persian cats from Persia to Italy in 1620 and Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc imported them from Turkey to France in the same year and probably imported from France to England shortly afterward.

In England, cats were popularized by Queen Victoria and Edward VII. The Persian kitty became very popular in Europe and America in 1800. In Harpers Weekly article, (published January 27, 1872) there are a few illustrations of the cat shows in London Crystal Palace, which was participated by several cats and Persian cats were ones of them. Persian cats’ appearances at that time were different with the current Persian cat.

Over the several years, the Persian cat has occupied a high popularity in America, but it has decreased more and more, especially in France and Britain.

Persian cat and Angora cats are almost identical. Thus in 1871, the city of London held a cat event where there was the first standards-adoption of the Persian cat. What distinguishes Persian from Angora cats is its more dense hair, longer tail and more rounded and large head. But not all cat lovers agree with it because the difference between Persian and Angora is very little. In a book called “The Book of Cat” written by Francis Simpson stated that the Angora and Persian seem to have no difference.

With a wide cross-breed and selective captivity, then these cats appear with different types of coat or hair color.


Appearance Characteristics of Persian Cats

  • Persian cats are beautiful cats with a great solid and large body shapes, rounded heads, covered with a thick hair or coat. Even anyone can immediately recognize the Persian cat.
  • Heads of Persia cats are big and round, with the snub and wide nose with a clear gap seen.
  • The cat’s eyes are round and wide open, its eye color is associated with its coat color.
  • Having strong and wide jaw, full cheeks supported by prominent cheekbones. When seen from its side, the forehead, nose, and chin shaped straight lines.
  • These cats’ ears are having round ends, the broad bases, not too tall and lean forward.
  • A conformation of its round face with its short nose makes Persian cat susceptible to diseases such as breathing problem, eye disease, giving a birth problem and skin diseases. For the modern Persian cat, it is usually able to live until the age of 15 years.
  • Persian cat’s body is short, thick and strong, sustained by a large bone.
  • Having wide and rounded chest with the back which is slightly rounded as well, the size and position of the abdomen and lower back are rounded (cobby).
  • Persian cats’ claws are large, round and solid, having five fingers on the front feet and four fingers on the back feet
  • The front legs are straight and the hind legs are straight as well when viewed from behind.
  • This cat’s hair tail is thick, straight, shiny, long in proportion to the body.

Pattern and Color

  • This cats’ hair has some types of color, such as solid, bicolor, multicolor, tabby and smoke. Some colors, such as points are categorized into the Himalayan cat breed and color of gold and silver can be categorized into the Chinchilla cat breed.
  • Persian cat’s hair is long and thick. Based on their hair length, they are categorized into two types; long-haired (long-haired Persian) and short-haired (exotic short-hair). Based on the color variations, Persians are divided into seven groups, namely;
  1. Bicolor Division
  2. Himalayan Division
  3. Particolor Division
  4. Shaded and Smoke Division
  5. Silver and Golden Division
  6. Solid color
  7. Tabby Division

Behavioral Characteristics of Persian Cats

  • Persian cats are naturally quiet and not naughty, that’s why they increasingly become popular pets. The nature of quiet, elegant and pampered temperament is typical of Persian cat breed.
  • Persian cat easily adapt to a variety of places, they like to play and they are easy to be loved.

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